Monday, February 28, 2011

Kuspit on the Iowa Pollock

Donald Kuspit thinks "the university and state had the chance to do some human good with Mural and muffed the chance":

"Raecker’s bill is dead, ... but the issue Raecker’s bill raises remains alive. It can be put another way: Mural may be a 'national asset,' as Dove said, but how much of an educational asset is it? It gives the university, its art history department, and its museum a great deal of prestige ... but what can the students learn from it ...? Just what exactly does it contribute to their intellectual and emotional development? Would it be of greater benefit to them if it was sold and the money from the sale used to fund scholarships in perpetuity rather than whatever benefit they might gain by studying it -- and I don’t doubt there is an educational benefit? ... [W]hat lasting effect will it have on the students -- and I don’t doubt that it will have an effect ... ? Simply put, what good does it do hanging in all its glory in the university’s museum -- in any museum -- considering the good it could do if it was sold to endow a scholarship fund?"